Although I have until September to start my “official” marathon training, I’ve decided to follow the “Finish with FIRST” marathon training program developed at the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training. All FIRST programs center around completing three key runs per week, coupled with cross training and rest days. The key runs include:
1) Interval runs at a relatively fast pace
2) Tempo runs at a moderate pace
3) Long runs at a relatively slow pace.
The 18 week plan calls for me to complete one of each of the three key runs per week, never running on consecutive days. The interim days are filled with cross training (3 days a week) and complete rest (1 day a week). The pacing of the 3 runs is based on my most recent 10K finishing time.
Therein lies the problem…
I’ve never run a 10K. Fortunately, I have some time to correct that. Unfortunately, there are no 10K races locally between now and September, when I’ll need to start the marathon plan.
So, I’ll be running a simulated 10K all by myself in early September. To prepare for that I’ll be using the FIRST 10K training program. This one is a 12 week program (I’m going to have to cut a week out) with a similar theory, but based on my most recent 5K time.
I’ll post more about the whole 10K program later, but today’s workout was the first. It involved eight 1/4 mile intervals. Based on my 5K time from last October, I was to run 1/4 mile intervals at 6:35 mile pace, followed by walking rest intervals.
Looking at the training plan, I’m a little concerned about the longer runs, but I figured I could handle this one no problem. I was wrong. This workout really kicked my butt. My hamstrings and lower back were sore from a stength training workout I did on Saturday, so that made things tough. I did complete the workout as prescribed, but the last 3 intervals were pretty tough. Here’s how it went:
Planned: 8 X 400m at 6:35 pace with 400m walking rest intervals
Actual: 10 minute walking warmup, 8X400m at 6:35 pace, walking rest intervals, 10 minute walking cool down.
Location: Treadmill on 2.0 degree incline.
I ran the first two intervals with perfect form. During the next four, I started with perfect form and ended rather poorly. The final two intervals were a bit of a struggle to stay on the treadmill (I was never worried I’d fall off, but I must have looked like I was struggling to hold myself up).
Anyway, if that was the easy one, then I don’t have high hopes for Wednesday’s tempo run. Tomorrow is a cross training workout on the bike. I’m very much looking forward to it.